Tag Archives: waste food

Food Waste – time to take action!

food wasteA councillor whose campaign against food waste led to a law forcing French supermarkets to donate unwanted food to charity has set his sights on getting similar legislation passed globally. Arash Derambarsh said it was “scandalous and absurd” that food is wasted and in some cases deliberately spoiled while the homeless, poor and unemployed go hungry. Derambarsh – a municipal councillor for the “Divers Droit” (diverse right) in Courbevoie, north-west of Paris – persuaded French MPs to adopt the regulation after a petition gained more than 200,000 signatures and celebrity support in just four months. The amendment was approved as part of a wider law – the Loi Macron – that covers economic activity and equality in France and is expected to be passed by the national assembly on Tuesday, entering the statute books shortly afterwards.

And here in the UK there is a nw campaign – “Supermarkets should donate all unsold and edible food to charity to feed our homeless”: The appeal says “Our country may be developed, but everyday people go hungry for a variety of reasons such as unexpected bills, redundancy and homelessness. Latest government figures have revealed that 52,000 families were formally declared as homeless last year. This has resulted in an increasing need for food banks. Figures published by leading charity The Trussell Trust revealed that foodbanks fed 913,138 people nationwide last year including 330,205 children. Our supermarkets throw away millions of pounds worth of edible food each week. Food rotting in landfills doesn’t benefit our society so we think it should be given to charity.”  YOU CAN SIGN  UP HERE.

the-food-waste-project-partnershipA Greener Festival are proud to be part of the team behind 8th Plate: The Food Waste Project.  8th Plate is a project which aims to salvage 60 tonnes of festival food waste this summer, to make 143,000 ready meals for vulnerable people in society. Thousands of tonnes of perfectly good food is sent to landfill each year after going unsold at festivals and outdoor events. The number of unknown variables at live events means that large amounts of perfectly good food often goes unsold. A proportion of the food left over can’t be kept until the next event for food safety reasons, so it ends up going to landfill. The solution? Bring food off site so that it can be eaten before it becomes unsafe. We’re calling it 8th Plate because 1 person in 8 globally goes hungry. Any waste food collected through the project will be turned into ready meals for distribution to food banks and soup kitchens in the South West.

The National Caterers Associaction, NCASS,  has  partnered with FareShare South West and A Greener Festival to reduce the amount of food waste at festivals and events and develop systems to salvage food before it goes off. We’re calling it 8th Plate because 1 person in 8 globally goes hungry. Any waste food collected through the project will be turned into ready meals for distribution to food banks and soup kitchens in the South West.  Over the 2015 summer festival season, 8th Plate will set out to salvage 60 tonnes of food, to distribute around 143,000 meals and to save 270 tonnes of CO2 from the environment.

ALLOTMENTS4A trial run took place during the 2014 summer season with great results. FareShare engaged with more than 100 traders at three different festivals. They collected over 10 tonnes of good quality food that would have gone to waste had they not offered to redistribute it. Two tonnes of food waste were redistributed from 64 traders at WOMAD Festival to shelters and centres in the South West. The project provided 4,762 meals for vulnerable people at Windsor Hall Wood in Shepton Mallet, Elim Connect Centre in Wells and the YMCA in Burnham-on-Sea. Each part of the initiative is a step towards improving sustainability at festivals and reducing unnecessary waste and costs while supporting vulnerable individuals. You can see what the Shambala Festival are doing with 8th Plate in 2015 here.

food wasteNCASS Director Mark Laurie says, “The amount of food wasted at festivals can be quite high so the ultimate aim is to manage stock as effectively as possible to minimise waste. Where inefficiencies occur we should be looking to help the people that need it most” adding “With the ever increasing costs of produce and fuel, sustainability is becoming a necessity for catering businesses rather than a luxury. Sometimes food waste cannot be helped which is exactly why this scheme has been set up.”

The Eighth Plate is a food salvage, research, and awareness project established by A Greener Festival, Fareshare SW, and the Nationwide Caterers Association. It is supported by WRAP and Esmee Fairbarn.

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rspbThe RSPB faces a whopping £9 million fine for allegedly chopping down 1000,000 trees without a licence.  RSPB is the UK charity working “to secure a healthy environment for birds” and the RSPB has aims to save wildlife, protect wild places and defend nature is thought to have broken the law when it cleared 100 acres of Highland forest, despite failing to renew its logging licence. The clearance was part of a scheme to clear bog and peatland to boost birdlife at the Forsinard Flows reserve in Scotland. Forestry Commission Scotland have launched an inquiry and if found to have felled trees illegally the fine levied could be up to twice the value of the trees cut down. The RSPB were recently involved in the controversial decision to grant T-in-the-Park a licence to hold the festival at the Strahallan Estate:  In its response to Perth and Kinross Council, the wildlife charity made it clear that while it didsn’t oppose the new venue in principle, it would object to the music festival unless a number of strict measures are implemented. These were to ensure that nesting ospreys next to the proposed site are not disturbed. These measures include restrictions on the use of fireworks and lighting, and permanent ‘no go’ buffer zones around the active osprey nest. These zones would measure 500 m until after mid-June; this covers the period when the birds are likely to lay eggs, incubate them, and raise small chicks. After this time the zones would reduce to 250 m. At no point would festival goers or T in the Park staff enter these buffer zones. The RSPB also said an ‘ornithological clerk of works’, a specialist qualified and experienced bird expert, must also be appointed who wouldbe able to overrule others on site to stop any activities that may cause disturbance. Some T in the Park infrastructure, like the Slam Tent, big wheel and funfair would also be moved 500 m away from the osprey nest.

A group of French MPs has tabled a draft law to make it compulsory for supermarkets to hand over all unsold food still fit for consumption to charity. Many supermarket chains in France already donate unsold produce to charities, but 63 MPs from across the political spectrum would like to see the practice enshrined in law. Late in July, they tabled a draft bill making it compulsory for supermarkets with 1,000 square metres (10,800 sq ft) of floor space to give their “unsold but still consumable food products to at least one food charity”. Belgium became the first European country to introduce a similar a law in May.

france_europa_stampsAnd a new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in either plants or solar panels. Green roofs, as they are called, have an isolating effect which helps to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building during the winter or cool it in the summer. They are capable of retaining rainwater and reducing problems with runoff, and also offer birds a place to call home in the urban jungle.

London could be set for a wave of ‘social supermarkets’ that reduce food waste by selling surplus stock at much lower prices than the high street, thanks to £300,000 of new funding from Mayor Boris Johnson. Boroughs across the capital can apply for a share of the fund, which will go towards the development of pilot supermarkets aimed at local families on lower incomes, in a bid to tackle the rising problem of food poverty. “I want to see more innovative schemes on our high streets that tackle food waste, help communities and offer access to a variety of good standard cheaper food,” Johnson said.

lobster-164479_640The Guardian tells us that the the East Yorkshire Coastline to the  North Sea is by far the UK’s most prolific lobster ground. Before the boats were barred from entering it, in mid-2013, to allow for the construction of a 35-turbine windfarm, it provided more than 15% of the 3,500 tonnes of lobster taken from UK waters every year. Landed at Bridlington, and the smaller neighbouring ports of Flamborough, Hornsea, Withernsea and Easington, the lobsters – and a large quantity of crabs and whelks – are mostly exported and are highly prized in France, Spain and Portugal. Now, as they prepare to return, fishing crews hope that there will still be shellfish under the waves to catch. “The questions we are asking are: can we safely fish among the turbines and is there anything left to catch?” said Mike Cohen, chief executive of the Holderness Fishing Industry Group, the UK’s largest association representing lobster fishers. Since construction started, the windfarm’s owner, Dong Energy, has been working with Cohen’s group to gauge the effects of the turbines on crustaceans and white fish in the North Sea. The intention is to publish the research annually, allowing both sides to study the long-term impact on marine stocks as the world pushes ahead with offshore wind – a technology that is becoming a major industry in the north-east of England.

Sea creatures are set to shrink as the world’s oceans become more acidic. That is the startling warning given by an international group of biologists who have charted the likely impact of rising carbon dioxide levels on marine life. The group reveals that not only are hundreds of marine species likely to be wiped out as more and more carbon dioxide is dissolved in the Earth’s oceans but also that creatures that do survive – in particular those with shells, such as clams, oysters and snails – will be left puny and shrunken as a result. “We have already seen this effect in commercial oyster beds in the US, where marine farmers have had to stop growing young oysters in sea water because their shells could no longer form properly in our increasingly acidic seas. Instead they have to grow them in tanks where water acidity can be controlled,” said marine biologist Professor Jason Hall-Spencer, of Plymouth University. “And as the oceans get even more acidic, the problem of species shrinkage – known as the Lilliput effect – will become more and more common. It is a clear warning of the extreme dangers we are facing as carbon emissions continue to rise around the planet.”

One of France’s most venerated winemakers, Thibault Liger-Belair, whose vineyards supply leading restaurants, including those owned by Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay, will this week risk a six-month prison sentence or a large fine for the sake of both his grapes and future generations by refusing to spray his vines with pesticide. He was ordered to spray his crop after an outbreak of flavesence doree 40km away. The disease kills young vines and reduces productivity in older plants.  Liger-Belair thinks that the pesticide damages the soil. He has been summoned to appear in court.

beesOkay this is super important so PLEASE read this and share it around: now that spring is in full swing and summer is approaching, if you see something like this do NOT call the exterminator. Call a beekeeper and they will relocate the bees for you. Bees are the most efficient and effective pollinators and they are unfortunately dying off because people keep trying to kill them. Bees are largely responsible for the pollination of most of the world’s fruits, vegetables and nuts so without bees we don’t have any of those foods. When bees swarm like this it’s because they’re about to relocate somewhere else and they are highly UNLIKELY to sting you in this state because they don’t have a hive or babies to protect. So TLDR; bees are your friend, don’t kill them, and call a beekeeper to RELOCATE them. Thank you.

hedgehogUK wildlife TV presenter Michaela Strachan has said that hedgehogs are declining so fast in the UK they could disappear in 10 years – despite the fact it would be relatively easy to protect the,m. Hedgehog numbers have declined from 30 million in the 1950s to 1.5 million in 1995 to less than a million now. Pesticides, busy roads and a loss of habitats are all blamed.  making urban parks and gardens for hedgehog friendly will really help – simple holes under garden fences to allow foraging is are a big help.

An Antarctic ice shelf called Larsen B Ice shelf which is the size of London is in the process of collapsing according Nasa scientists.

short-haired_bee_masterAccording to beekeeper Dave Schuit, who produces honey in Elmwood, Canada, he and his farm lost about 37 million bees (about 600 hives) once GMO corn started to get planted in the nearby area. “Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” Schuit said. He and other beekeepers are blaming neonicotinoids, or “neonics” for the death of many of their bees. Although Europe has eliminated the use of neonicotinoid class of pesticides from its market, the USDA still hasn’t banned the chemical presently produced by Bayer CropScience Inc. The reason pesticides containing neonicotinoids are banned in other countries is because they contaminate pollen and nectar, which in effect damages and kills insects like the bees. Two of Bayer CropScience’s most popular pesticides containing neonics include Imidacloprid and Clothianidin. These drugs continue to be marketed, even though they have been linked with many large-scale bee ‘die-offs’ in both European and U.S. countries.

airpollutionFossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of $5.3tn (£3.4tn) a year, equivalent to $10m a minute every day, according to a startling new estimate by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF calls the revelation “shocking” and says the figure is an “extremely robust” estimate of the true cost of fossil fuels. The $5.3tn subsidy estimated for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments. The vast sum is largely due to polluters not paying the costs imposed on governments by the burning of coal, oil and gas. These include the harm caused to local populations by air pollution as well as to people across the globe affected by the floods, droughts and storms being driven by climate change. The IMF estimate of $5.3tn in fossil fuel subsidies represents 6.5% of global GDP. Just over half the figure is the money governments are forced to spend treating the victims of air pollution and the income lost because of ill health and premature deaths.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has shelved plans to place an emissions cap on the world’s shipping fleet. A meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) discussed the plans for 90 minutes at a meeting in London this week before saying they would be reconsidered “at a future date”. A global target for greenhouse gas shipping emissions was proposed in April by the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, Tony de Brum. The island nation is reportedly under threat from rising sea-levels which it attributes at least partially to shipping emissions.

windturbines_300New UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has confirmed the Conservative Party’s controversial plans to stop subsidies for onshore wind farms, claiming it is top of her agenda at the Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC). In an interview with the Sunday Times this week, Rudd reiterated the Tories’ manifesto pledge to effectively bring an end to the development of new wind farms on UK land, outlining her hopes for the new measures to come into force by May 2016. The Hastings and Rye MP said: “It will mean no more onshore wind farm subsidies and no more onshore wind farms without local community support. This is really important. I’ve already got my team working on it. That’s going to be one of the first things we’re going to do.  “It’s not going to be an easy ride” for the new ministerial team at the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), with the Levy Control Framework (LFC), domestic energy efficiency policies and Paris climate talks all posing significant challenges within the next year. That’s the warning of former Climate Minister Greg Barker, who believes Amber Rudd was a “fantastic choice” as the new Secretary of State at DECC, but a number of pressing matters will make for a challenging time in office, with the LCF budget sitting top of the pile.

The UK Green Investment Bank has today (18 May) taken a £236m stake in in the first offshore wind farm off the south coast of England, in a joint venture with energy giant E.ON. The 400MW Rampion Offshore Wind Farm on the Brighton coast will now commence construction and is scheduled to be operational by September 2018. The scheme will comprise 116 turbines, generating a total of 1,333GWh of renewable energy each year – enough to power 300,000 homes. It is also forecast to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4,215 kt CO2e across its 25-year lifetime, equivalent to taking 75,000 cars off the road. Prime Minister David Cameron has underlined his support for the UK Green Investment Bank during a visit to the organisation’s headquarters in Edinburgh. The visit, made by Cameron a week after his Conservative Party won the General Election, comes five years after the Green Investment Bank was launched to accelerate the UK’s transition to a greener economy.

Greenpeace and Amazon have become embroiled in a public spat after the charity claimed the online retailer’s renewable energy commitments “lacked basic transparency”. In its new ‘Clicking Clean’ report released this week, Greenpeace analysed the transparency, efficiency and renewable energy commitments of 17 tech giants, including Google, Facebook Amazon, IBM and Yahoo. Amazon was awarded an ‘F’ grade for its energy transparency, after failing to respond to a Greenpeace request for energy data.

Edie.net reports that Scotland has moved a step closer to implementing a nationwide bottle-deposit scheme with the publication of new feasibility report by Zero Waste Scotland. The report, published today (14 May), assesses the benefits of introducing a system where customers pay 10p or 20p deposit when they buy a drink in a can or bottle, and get the money back when they return the item to a collection point. The findings are broadly positive, with Eunomia – the consultancy that carried out the study – claiming that such a system would save local authorities £13m in collection and disposal costs.

Indian SummerThe new Conservative Government is being urged to work closely with the waste-management sector to counteract an anticipated downturn in recycling rates across England. Government figures released this week showed that English recycling rates increased from 43.9% to 45% in the 12 months to September 2014, but quarterly recycling rates rose just 0.1% year-on-year. And Jakob Rindegren from the Environmental Services Association (ESA) believes recycling rates may have actually dropped since the figures were collected, jeopardising progress towards an EU target of recycling half of household waste. Rindegren said: “Given recycling market turbulence in the last 6 – 9 months, it may be the case that we haven’t been able to sustain this improved performance since September.

One of France’s most venerated winemakers, Thibault Liger-Belair, whose vineyards supply leading restaurants, including those owned by Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay, will this week risk a six-month prison sentence or a large fine for the sake of both his grapes and future generations by refusing to spray his vines with pesticide. He was ordered to spray his crop after an outbreak of flavesence doree 40km away. The disease kills young vines and reduces productivity in older plants. Liger-Belair thinks that the pesticide damages the soil. He has been summoned to appear in court.

deepgreenSwedish company Minesto has been awarded a £9.5m EU grant to set up a marine power plant in North Wales. Minesto will use the money to establish a UK headquarters and install its ‘Deep Green’ turbine system off the coast of Holyhead. The so-called Deep Green, operates like an underwater kite, and claims to be the only proven marine power plant to generate electricity from low velocity tidal currents. Cleverly, the kites can reach speeds up to 10 times higher than the water current.

California’s drought continues, now with increasing worries that the water shortages will began to effect the state’s agriculture which uses 80% of the state’s increasingly scarce supply water – with almonds being singled out as a the 150,000 new acres of almond trees guzzle up water – the almonds in California use more water than all indoor residential uses: to produce 16 almonds, 58 litres of water are needed. Three mandarins need 161 litres and a bunch of grapes 91 litres of water.

Barclays Bank owned Third Energy has submitted an application to North Yorkshire County Council to frack at Kirby Misperon, 20 miles west of Scarborough. Local Bowland shale rock formations need to be hydraulically stimulated to release gas.

Esc2015logoAnd finally, the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna will be a Smart Green Event. The World’s biggest TV Entertainment Event with more than 200 Million viewers and participants from 39 countries will set the standard for future shows with attention paid to Energy Efficiency, Waste Reduction, Mobility, Inclusion, Regional and Organic Catering (still some meat…) and Resource Management . The Green Music Initiative and it’s partners Elevate Festival, EE Music, ORF, Vienna, Austria and others are working hard to make this happen. Well done to SWEDEN for winning on the night.

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recycle 9781907317026nConfusing recycling bins – too many recycling bins – and ‘green fatigue’  – are three factors turning people off recycling at home in the UK. These factors, along with a fall in the use of paper and glass in the UK, has prompted a stalling in the UK’s recycling rate – which needs to be 50% opf waste by 2020 to meet EU targets. The UK’s recycling rate was 43.2% in 2012-2013 – up just 0.2% from the year before (Defra) and SITA UK, who collect waste from 12 million homes, says that its recycling collections are already falling in some urban areas including London – an suggests that only mixed recycling (where almost all ‘dry’ recyclables are collected together in one bin) will promote higher recycling rates. The Campaign for Real Recycling oppose mixed bin recycling saying that too much collected ends up in landfill – and note that mixed bin suits the waste companies as they can use less vehicles.

China - sometimes all we need is the air that we breathe

China – sometimes all we need is the air that we breathe

After decades of manufacturing driven economic growth which has left the air, land and water badly polluted, China plans to scrap upwards of six million vehicles in the next year to remove cars and lorries with high emissions and polluting exhaust outputs.

Scientists have found that climate change is altering the colour of insects. A study of 366 butterfly an 107 dragonfly species shows that paler dragonflies and butterflies in Europe have become more successful – and paler insects from the south are now displacing darker variants further North as the region warms as they can reflect more warmth and prevent overheating.

food wasteWRAP – the Waste and Resources Action Programme – has launched a new £800,000 fund to help business partnerships bring about “innovative” waste prevention projects. Grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 are being offered to business partnerships that seek to support local-level waste prevention projects. Partnerships can involve local businesses, councils, charities and voluntary groups.  The ‘Innovation in Waste Prevention Fund’ aims to support communities across England in their effort to prevent waste, stimulating long-term changes to business models that encourage items to be kept in use for longer.

A group of European Union states led by the Netherlands and Sweden are calling on the European Commission to scrap ‘best before’ labels on a host of long life products in a bid to cut down on food waste. The proposal, backed by the governments of Austria, Denmark, Germany, Luxemburg, Sweden and the Netherlands, is designed to reduce the estimated 90m tonnes of edible food that is thrown away throughout Europe each year.  Under the plan, manufacturers would no longer have to put a best before date on foods that people keep in their cupboards for a long time such as rice and pasta.

And Edie.net reports that businesses across the UK now have access to the world’s first guidance document which outlines how to design effective food waste prevention programmes based on proven experiences across the globe. The new tool – Think.Eat.Save Guidance Version 1.0 – has been released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO) and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) as part of the Save Food initiative.

Our friends at FareShare have pointed out that UK supermarkets are wasting thousands of tonnes of surplus food because subsidies for green energy make it cheaper to turn it into biogas than to donate it to hungry families. The government is spending millions of pounds subsidising the construction and operation of anaerobic digestion plants that are converting up to 100,000 tonnes of edible food a year into biogas, FareShare said but the subsidies mean that retailers and their suppliers can dispose of surplus food much more cheaply by sending it to these plants rather than delivering it to charities. Frank Field, the former Labour welfare minister leading an inquiry into food poverty, said that the subsidy system was “madness on stilts”. He has called for it to be reformed to make donating surplus food the cheapest option for the industry. “We live in a country where people are hungry yet we are using taxpayers’ money to destroy edible food,” he said. Mr Field’s inquiry found that only 2 per cent of the 300,000 to 400,000 tonnes of surplus food produced annually by the industry was redistributed to charities. FareShare, which redistributes 5,000 tonnes of surplus food a year to 1,300 charities and community projects, said that the subsidies for anaerobic digestion could be in breach of a directive that requires waste to be re-used where possible before being turned into energy.

This short video below tells the story of how climate change – more specifically ocean acidification – is affecting the life of fifth-generation small oyster farmers off the coast of Washington state. It was made by The Story Group, an independent journalism company that uses storytelling to covering “critical issues of our time”. I think it’s a great idea to break up the rather abstract concept of ‘climate change’ into more concrete pieces that show how it’s affecting people and ecosystems more directly. The short film is great, check it out here http://www.treehugger.com/climate-change/ocean-so-acidic-it-dissolving-shells-our-baby-oysters.html

A new report from the League of American Bicyclists has tracked a year of cycling fatalities and looked at the locations, the types of accidents and the penalties for the drivers that caused the accidents. And yes, for all the complaints about cyclists being irresponsible louts who cause accidents by going through stop signs and red lights, the numbers show otherwise. A shocking 40% of the deaths are “hit from behind” incidents, where drivers just go right over a cyclist. This is disproportionately large in relation to the number of cycling accidents. Of 238 fatal crashes where drivers were blamed, 42% were careless or inattentive, 36% were hit and run, and 12% were drunk or drugged. The most deaths happen on urban arterial roads, those multi-lane higher speed roads that probably have lots of room for bike lanes. Because that’s the way you reduce the rear-ender accidents, by giving cyclists their own separated lane http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/how-get-killed-bike-your-chances-are-best-urban-arterial-road-getting-hit-behind.html

The National Trust has slashed its environmental footprint by switching on the UK’s largest marine-source heat pump at a country house in North Wales. Plas Newydd, which was previously consuming over 1,500 litres of oil every day, is now entirely heated by the 300kW marine source heat pump which cost £600,000 to install but will save the conservation organisation over £40,000 a year in operating costs.

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has launched an affiliate trade body to represent the UK’s growing wood heat industry. The newly formed Wood Heat Association (WHA) will unify the 700-plus companies across the UK’s wood heat supply chain; from equipment manufacturers and installers to fuel producers and distributors. It will benefit from the REA’s back-office support much the same way as the Solar Trade Association (STA) did when it became affiliated to the REA in 2011.

The UK energy industry has welcomed a new report from an influential Parliamentary committee which argues that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is now ‘vital’ to limiting climate change and the technology must be fast-tracked for use in UK power stations within the next 12 months. The new report from the Energy and Climate Change Committee (ECC), explains that CCS – which traps carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel burning and buries it – has become essential for the UK’s low-carbon ambitions and that investment decisions on two pilot CCS projects must be finalised before the next general election.

Five out of seven European car manufacturers will reach the EU’s carbon emissions objectives by the 2021 deadline if they progress at the same rate since the law was introduced in 2008.  That’s according to the 2014 Cars and CO2 report released today by Transport & Environment (T&E), which monitors the annual progress made by vehicle manufacturers to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars.  Volvo, Toyota, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, Ford and Daimler will all hit their targets early, while VW and Nissan are on schedule

Stating the obvious? Engineering firm Arup says that toilet redesign could unlock the key to reducing the amount of water used during the flushing process within the built environment.  Arup is working with a toilet inventor on a novel system that uses air assistance to generate a maximum of 1.5 litres of water per flush, compared with typical dual flush toilets which use between four and six litres.  The firm has developed a universal connector so that it can be fitted to existing drainage systems and is currently testing it within two of its London offices. We hope they are flushed with success! More on Edie.net here.